At least, 68 out of 165 individuals and institution that owed the state broadcaster, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) of a total amount of GHS123,642.00, are to face lawsuits in the coming days for failing or refusing to redeem their indebtedness to the corporation after it had rendered adverts services to them.
The PublicAccounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament gave the legal directive to the Corporation when management appeared before the Committee on Monday March 18, to answer questions on some financial infractions captured by the 2016 Auditor General Report.
The Public Accounts Committee has being sitting publicly for the past weeks on the Annual Report of the Auditor General on Ministries, Departments and other Agencies(MDAs) ended 31st December,2016.
The report has been prepared under Section 11 of the Audit Service Act, 2000 for presentation to Parliament in accordance with Section 20 of the Act, whilst Article 187(2) of the 1992 Constitution also empowers the Auditor General to carry out the audit of the Public Accounts of Ghana and to report thereon to Parliament.
The Ghana Broadcasting Corporation was one of the State Agencies to appear before the PublicAccounts Committee of Parliament Chaired by Hon James Klutse Avedzi, Deputy Minority Leader and MP for Ketu North.
With a heading of the Audit Report titled, “Indebtedness to GBC – GH¢272,584.89” sthe AG stated that, “Our review of the Debtors’ Ledger of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), Koforidua disclosed that 165 individuals and organisations owed the Corporation a total amount of GH¢272,584.89 for services rendered.”
“Management’s failure to pursue legal action to recover the amounts after the issuance of the Demand Notice resulted in the outstanding debt. We recommended that management should take legal action to recover the amount,” the Auditor General Report 2016 on MDAs partly read.
The Report also captured a Dishonoured Cheques with face value of GH¢4,000.00 and asked Management to take steps to retrieve all monies owed the GBC by individual and institution.
“A Unibank Cheque No. 000035 of GH¢4,000.00 issued by Unique plus Health Care on 8 February to GBC SUNRISE FM to pay for services rendered was dishonoured. Management’s failure to pursue legal action to recover the amounts after the issuance of the Demand Notice accounted for the lapse thereby depriving the Corporation the needed revenue. We urged management to institute legal action to recover all debt owed with interest,” the Auditor General directed.
However, the Acting Director General of GBC, Mr Augustus Yamson told the Committee, debt amounting to GHS91,795.25 has been fully recovered from 47 individuals and institutions, while a partial recovery totaling GHS10,332.00, also made from individuals and institutions.
He explained that, another 37 of the debtors that owed the Corporation an amount of GHS61,147.39, businesses are collapsed, adding that, “the reasons for the collapsed businesses includes amongst others the death of nine owners totaling GHS14,250.00, unable to trace four owners amounting to GHS2,862.00 and closure by the Ghana Revenue Authority.”
The Acting Director General said, 68 of the debtors still owed the Corporation of a total debt of GHS123,642.00 and that out of the number, some of the Clint’s have issue post dated cheques ofGHS4,368.00 , while three of the debts amounting to GHS3,400.00 are in dispute and a reconciliation is ongoing to resolve the difference.
Mr Yamson said,Management has taken decision to reach out to some of the clients on good standing on payment plans rather than court action, stating that, “this decision has been taken because of the nature of the media industry, which relied on repeated clients orders to generate and maintain sustained revenue for corporation.”
Led by a Deputy Minister for Information, Hon Ama Dokuaa Asiamah Agyei, the Acting Director General noted that, despite the fact that, the Corporation want to sustain its revenue bass, it would hesitate to take legal action against defaulters, stressing that ate am has been put in place to work out the best to retrieve money from defaulters and also build strong relations.
He further said, following the Auditor General Report, Management has also put in measures in place to improve control in conducting business with credible clients and assured the Public Accounts Committee of better Audit Report in the coming years.
Some of the clients owed as far back between 2006, 2008, 2013 to 2016, which the Parliament Committee said was unacceptable and charged the Corporation to institute legal actions to the recalcitrant clients, especially those still in active businesses to retrieve the monies.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Nyaaba